My girls always want to “help”.
Help with dinner.
Help with dishes.
Help with housework.
Help with washing the dog.
Help with everything.
But usually the “help” of an 8 and a 4 year old is actually just more work for me.
So I tend to brush them off…and give them jobs like:
Make sure everyone’s shoes are put away or put a fork by everyone’s plate for dinner.
However, if you follow us over on Facebook you’ve heard about the home we bought and the renovation projects that needed to be done inside of it this summer.
The projects were huge…and hard…and dirty.
And I needed help. A lot of help. Real help.
And guess who was there ready, willing, and to my surprise able…
…that’s right, my 8 and 4 year old girls.
They have helped paint every single room in this house.
I spent a few minutes with them showing them how to use a paint roller, how to put paint on that roller and how to apply it to the walls without causing drips and they were off and running.
We created a routine where I would pour the paint and begin taping off the walls. Meanwhile they would start painting everything they could reach.
By the time they were done I was done and able to come behind them, smooth out their paint, and apply a second coat.
It was REAL help.
Even when they employed a little creative license on the job.
They saved my bacon.
They worked hard…consistently…relentlessly…everyday by my side.
And it has changed everything.
We taught the 11 year old to mow the lawn…which he has taken a real pride and ownership in.
We taught the 8 year old how to unload the dishwasher…which is now only HER JOB. (And she does it well.)
And the 5 year old is the clean sock matcher-upper extraordinaire.
Kids…they are bright and eager to learn…and while I have this window of opportunity (where they actually want to help) I need to take advantage of it and teach them all I can because it won’t last forever.
I just feel silly it took the house renovation of doom to teach me that lesson.
Kim Funk says
Oh Liz! The more they help out when they are younger carries over into the teen years. I love their painting work! Where were they when I was painting?
I needed this reminder. I don’t love their help all the time, as I just want to hurry up and get it done. And I am a mom that will send them to do the “silly/non important” jobs. This mom needs to print this out and put it up so I can read it every day. They do enjoy taking ownership over things they can do. And this mom needs to let it go! Thanks for the reminder.
YES!! THIS. So much.
They did a great job.
So did you:)
Such a lovely post – reminded me of when we let our toddlers paint a wall…so much fun!!
Sometimes we forget that we are raising children to be adults, not children, and focus on the here and now, rather than the future. I tried to think of what I wish I had known when I got married…I knew so very little about homemaking, and my husband and I decided that my children wouldn’t suffer the same fate…now my boys, nearly all out of their teens, are far better ‘housewives’ then I ever was at a much older age…and we have so much fun together!! They’ve even taught me more efficient ways of doing things lol…and I have so much more time to focus on my own work, rather than being everyone’s maid. Well done for chosing the harder, but wiser route. Ali xx